It makes us laugh when we are told that the English Premier League is so much faster than leagues elsewhere in the world, and this is because of the players. Yes, it is in some ways, the EPL attracts some of the best players in the world, they perform at a higher level and in turn, the game appears faster. However, why does the game appear faster? Why are the majority of EPL players actually English? Why were there four English sides in the two European Club competition finals this year?
Football, once you get to a certain level, becomes like a game of chess. It’s not because the likes of Phil Foden, Trent Alexander Arnold, Callum Hudson Odoi, Dele Ali (I could go on for ages!) can run much faster than players in let’s say the German League (Jaden Sancho another young English player dominating German football!) or the MLS in America. Nor can they kick the ball harder, or are that much more agile… it’s because of the level of coaching that is offered to them from an early age. This is the difference.
Through our sister company, UK Football Trials, we travel the world scouting players to bring back to the UK to find for professional football clubs. We do find several, however many are under the age of fourteen and it becomes less likely finding players, much older than this. If we compare a ten-year-old from England, to let’s say Australia for example, their doesn’t appear to be much of a difference. Everything is technical, raw and natural. However, when players get to around thirteen/ fourteen years of age, the psychological and tactical areas of the game become needed and more apparent. How does the player move off the ball? What is his decision making like? Is he still trying to dribble past every player within dangerous areas or is he playing maturely? Is he communicating with his teammates in the right way? Is his first touch away from an opponent to give himself an extra second on the ball? Has he recognised the movement from his teammate before he himself has received the ball so doesn’t need to look once he receives it?
All of these questions are asked as a scout when assessing a footballer of this age, because in England, from around this age, this is what is taught. Movement patterns, playing through the lines, defending as one unit, decision making etc. This is when players outside of the UK begin to fall behind. At eighteen, you can really start to see the difference between those coached at a good level around good players and those who have had a lot of 1v1 coaching, technical and physical coaching. It is the tactical acumen that usually wins football matches and having players able to understand what is expected from their coaches and managers are usually the most successful.
Football academy boarding schools won’t just teach this, but you are on site with players all year long. You live with them and talk tactics with them. Boarding schools close to London, boarding schools around London, boarding schools in London and football colleges in London mean these schools offer excellent exposure to a lot of clubs who have the capabilities to teach footballers these key things. Alternatively, an international football academy in England or an international soccer academy in England (for all our Canadian, Australian and American viewers!) will also offer these things.
We will help you find the best programmes for you, after searching through the top 100 boarding schools in the UK, boarding schools in London and football schools in England, for free!